'Chuck': Kristin Kreuk plays nice

kristin-kreuk-chuck-320.jpgKristin Kreuk entered the "Chuck" universe last week as the best part of an otherwise turbulent solo outing for superspy-in-training Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi). Given those circumstances, it's natural to wonder whether Kreuk's character, Hannah, is part of the spy game too -- but she's not telling.

"Obviously it won't take long for everyone to find out what's going on," says Kreuk, who continues her "Chuck" guest arc Monday (Feb. 1). "But essentially, she's a really nice person."

The former "Smallville" star spoke with Zap2it last week about the remainder of her four-episode "Chuck" arc, which of her castmates is "creepy," whether she'd return to "Smallville" and more.

Zap2it: How did this part come to you?
Kreuk: I got a call at the end of summer. They were asking if I wanted to come do a four-episode arc. ... I hadn't actually seen the show at that time, so I got them to send me their favorite episodes, and I watched it. I think it's really a sweet show.

Considering how Hannah and Chuck met, I think people are wondering what her deal is.
Well, I think everyone will find out. ... Essentially, she's a really nice person who's struggling right now because she's losing her job. ... She really likes Chuck, she really likes computers, and she's just a nice person who's playful and silly and wants to connect with him.

How does Hannah interact with the rest of the weirdos at the Buy More?
[Laughs] They are weird. They're really quite weird. For me -- and I love Vik [Sahay, who plays Lester] and I love Scott [Krinsky, who plays Jeff]; they're wonderful, wonderful people. But they're creepy when they're in character. So for me -- and they're acting! -- I think shivers went up my spine multiple times when I worked in that Buy More. Hannah's nice, though, so she lets this stuff go on, she doesn't do mean things to them. She tries to be nice to them. But they're very lecherous.

To say the least.
To say the least, yeah. And many other things.

Do you think the circumstances under which Chuck met Hannah affects their relationship -- might he be thinking this is too good to be true?
There's a struggle for Chuck on multiple levels. He obviously loves Sarah [Yvonne Strahovski], and he's a spy, and as far as he knows at the moment, Hannah's not. He can't tell her certain things. ... And she truly is, from what you can tell, a nice person. He doesn't want to hurt her or have her harmed in any way. But he's got this dual life, and it's just a fact of his existence at the moment. There are a lot of issues just in that. There can't be full honesty on his part, and she doesn't know that.

In your episodes are you mostly working with the Buy More crew, or do you have scenes with the other cast members too?
I think I don't wear the Buy More uniform maybe twice [laughs]. I'm in the Buy More a lot, or on some sort of Buy More outing.

Was it a challenge working on a show where the tone can shift so quickly from comedy to drama to action?
I didn't really have any action ... [just] a little bit of running around. But I like it. I was watching ["Chuck vs. First Class"] the other day just to see how everything cut together -- the way they edit it and handle the material, they do it with a lot of grace. So I think it's the actors and their capacity, but it's also the editing and the way they move the show through the editing process.

It's fun, and generally the way it's written, it makes the transition really smooth. Zach's really great, so as a guest star coming in -- and I worked with him primarily -- he can make those transitions really easily. ... They've kind of figured it out already, so I can come in and kind of float in that instead of creating it. I just think they do a really good job with it.

It also seems like they're letting you play a little lighter than you did ...
On "Smallville"? Yes, that's true [laughs]. The tone is a lot different. The themes are similar, oddly, but the tone is so different. ... Both [Chuck and Clark Kent] are struggling with this hero's journey, but on "Smallville" there's a very serious tone. So for me, it was really nice to play a lighter side of it. And because I'm a guest star, Hannah's not in it like Sarah's in it. I don't have to play the angst as much, which is great.

Is there a chance you could return to "Smallville" at some point?
I don't know. I haven't talked to them about it. ... The show's very different, and Lana -- it seems like she comes from a different "Smallville" time. So if they came up with something and it made sense and it was great, then sure -- if they wanted me to come back. And if not, that makes sense to me as well, because it doesn't seem right at this point in time. I don't know if you've seen the show recently, but she doesn't quite fit in the world. It's full of superheroes, and Lois and Clark have their love story now, and it would just be weird to have Lana come in.

What about "Chuck"? Is Hannah's story open-ended?
You guys will see. She's not dead [laughs], and that's something. But you'll see how it goes. There is a possibility and there's open-endedness in a way, but it's also very final in some respects. I know that's really vague.

What else is on the horizon for you?
There's a small two-part mini coming out, "Ben-Hur" [a remake of the classic film]. That will be out Easter weekend. And I just started a production company with my friend Allison Mack from "Smallville" and another dear friend. We just finished our first short, which is in post-production now, and we're working on developing some TV shows and features, so that's where a lot of my time is going. And I'm just looking at material for acting.

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Related:

'Chuck': Brandon Routh joins the team
Zap2it's 'Chuck' recaps
Scott Bakula is back: 'Chuck' stages a family reunion

Photo credit: NBC
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